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What causes high albumin levels?

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Quick Answer

High albumin levels in the body indicate severe dehydration, a high-protein diet and wearing a tourniquet for long periods while giving a blood sample, according to MedlinePlus. Several drugs can increase albumin levels such as androgens, growth hormone, anabolic steroids and insulin. An albumin, or blood serum test, detects liver disease, kidney disease or low protein levels.

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Full Answer

Low levels of albumin may mean poor diet, heart failure, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, kidney disease, liver disease, nutritional malabsorption and Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to WebMD. A doctor evaluates what the test results mean for each individual patient. The University of Rochester Medical Center explains that kidney failure causes more albumin to be present in urine, and therefore the blood contains lower levels of the protein.

WebMD states that normal albumin levels are between 35 to 50 grams per liter of blood. Albumin is one of four main substances tested by total blood serum at a doctor's office. Test results usually come back after 12 hours. Patients who take certain medications, have prolonged bed rest and suffer from long-term illnesses may not be able to take the test. Abnormal levels of albumin do not necessarily indicate a problem, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. The liver makes albumin, and the protein carries substances such as drugs, hormones and enzymes throughout the body.

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